Fr Dwight has put into words a few thoughts that have been hovering around the edge of my mind.
If we lack a sense of the sacred, we have lost something fundamental to being human and humane.
The sense of the sacred gives us a sense of where we stand in the cosmos, without it, we become less than God intended, less than human, sub-human and bestial.
Fr. Z says, "Save the Liturgy, Save the World." An overstatement by a zealous liturgy lover? Perhaps, but on the other hand, ask yourself why there is so little sense of the sacred in our lives.
Why do young people not respect their elders? Why the disintegrating social manners? Why the foul language, the commonplace crudeness? Why the lack of courtesy? Why do we not take time for nice family meals? Why the crassness and vulgarity of modern society when we have enough money to make things nice? Why the lack of self respect? Why the casual, cheap and horrible clothing we wear? Why the sloppy attitudes, sloppy language, sloppy everything?
I reckon it comes down to a lack of the sacred. If you do not believe anything is sacred, then nothing is sacred. If you do not believe there is anything to bow down to, then you never bow down. If there is nothing to worship, then there is nothing much at all. When nothing is sacred all things are equal in value. The lack of the sacred is a great and monstrous leveler.
One of the things we notice at St Mary's Greenville, (where we have made the attempt to bring back the sacred) is that the people dress up more to come to church. They also behave better in church. I reckon it filters down to the rest of life as well. Perhaps by re-sacralizing the sacred we also re-sacralize the rest of life.
Maybe, just maybe, when we bring back the sacred to our worship, all things sacred become more sacred. If we truly worship in church, should we not then value our family meals more? If we take the trouble and care over the liturgy should we not take more trouble and care over our manners, our dress, our relationships and our language?
Worship should transform our perspective on life, so all things beautiful, precious and eternal are valued in a way that is beautiful, precious and eternal.
Bring on the incense. Bring on the beautiful vestments, Sing choirs of angels, roll in the trumpets and drums. Train the noble young men to serve at the altar as if they were servants in the halls of the Great King. Help the noble young women to sing the praises of the king with fine music. Preach the word with passion and beauty. Value the liturgy and take time to worship and see if your world is not renewed.